Lockdown reduces international play

Lockdown reduces international play

9 July 2020

Leaving the farm behind in Te Awamutu and travelling to the United States in December to tackle a professional rugby contract, was part of Gordon’s plan to see the world.

He says the goal was to play rugby, catch up with family in the United States and do some travelling. But Covid-19 put paid to those plans, and Gordon is back on the family farm in Te Awamutu after arriving home in March, just before New Zealand hit Level 4 status. He managed to see through three months of the contract before it was terminated. With just under two weeks’ notice, all the international players flew home.

Heading straight back to the farm, Gordon hit the ground running with an early calving season. Gordon’s parents own Woodcote Holsteins, one of the top producing Holstein Friesian herds in the country.

While he’s happy to be back on the farm, Gordon relished the chance to play for Old Glory DC, a professional rugby union team that is a member of Major League Rugby. The opportunity came after an Old Glory coach and Kiwi put the word out at Gordon’s local Te Awamutu Rugby Club, where Gordon has played a few games.

“It was word of mouth, I suppose,” says Gordon.

Being at a crossroads with his career at the time of the offer meant Gordon was considering his options. With a Diploma in Applied Science and a few years working as part of the genetics team at LIC, Gordon was thinking about his next step. He says he either needed to step up into a more senior role or move on. He chose the latter and took up the opportunity to try professional rugby. Fortunately, having a US passport helped as it was easy for Gordon to relocate.

Whether Gordon has an opportunity to go back to Old Glory DC is unclear as Covid-19 has put the brakes on travel and scuttled many international sporting seasons.

But for now, he is more than happy to be back with the cows and having more time to do the thing he loves – farming.

Ginny Semmens

(Source: Network Issue 99)